On a day when most Americans are celebrating at home with their families, several culinary-arts students from Kendall College joined Dean Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, and his family to bring holiday joy and cheer to those in need in Chicago’s 12th Ward on Thanksgiving Day, 2009.
Eight students were first to respond to the dean’s request for volunteers to cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner for about 200 people at El Rey Banquet Hall at 3504 S. Western Avenue on behalf of Chicago Alderman George Cardenas, who hosts the event annually for his community.
While Cardenas’ office acquired donated proteins for the meal, Kendall College orchestrated the donation of all the fixin’s, which students prepared at Kendall and transported to the 12th Ward hall.
Says Koetke, he was pleased to see such dedication to community service on the part of Kendall students.
“About 10 days prior to the event, I sent an e-mail to students asking if anyone would come in at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and work a pretty tough day,” he says. “Several responded within minutes, and what’s even more fantastic is that I had to turn away about a dozen students. It gives me goose bumps to see how thrilled they were to give up their free time to help others, which is a testament to the caliber of our students here at Kendall College.”